Thursday, July 5, 2012

Primer Samples Time!

Since my stress has been a bit overwhelming lately, my face decided to take a break (and by break, I mean, break out) so instead of trying to perfect the cat eye or any general eye shadow technique, I decided to gather up all the primer samples that I've accumulated and try them out for a week (well, approximately a week anyway).

Our starting point is that I've only ever used one clear primer and that is Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer. To be honest, I actually don't use primers that often but overall I've been content with the Revlon one. It is a gel like consistency and I always end up using just a dab of it -- it goes on a bit greasy but absorbs really quickly. Overall, I'm satisfied and I have no real complaints toward it. So that's what I'll be comparing the others to -- so just understand that we're starting from a "satisfactory" (hereby known as a "C" rating) standpoint.

For this post I'll be grading each of them and since grading varies, here's the breakdown is below. (Interestingly, there is no use of the letter "E" in this grading system because like that of grade school, it was temporarily phased out [depending on the system used] so in that way one couldn't confuse "E" as standing for "Excellent." (Source)).

A = Excellent
B = Good
C = Satisfactory
D = Bad
F = Fail
I got this in the Target Beauty Bag and I was kind of hesitant to try it out. I looked at the colour and immediately went "Oh no..." which is my usual reaction when I see anything that boasts "Suitable for all skin types and tones" but isn't clear. Sorry, I'm a cynic when it comes to that and rightly so. I put this on and while the consistency which was a cream like texture was good, I immediately noticed how "bright" my face was. And by bright I mean, I had this ghastly pallor, one that can be described as ashy or an indication of wearing a shade too light for my skin tone. This was before I had even put on makeup which meant that my medium coverage mineral makeup went into overtime which was a rough start. Overall, this is something that I'd stay away from since it just looked terrible.
Grade: F

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer
This one has SPF 15 in it which is a plus. I loved the light creamy consistency of this one and also liked that a little went a long way. It was lightweight, absorbed quickly, and left my face feeling like a blank slate. Which was fantastic (if I didn't have bags under my eyes but were not counting that). Overall, I am in love with this primer, it goes on like a dream and lasts all day. When I was creating Sugarpill Cosmetics swatches, the colours looked so smooth and vibrant. Love, love, love this primer, but really hating on the $52 price.
Grade: A

Amazing Cosmetics Anti-Aging Face Primer
This one is clear -- not quite a gel but a bit liquid-like. It turns out that it does have a moisturizer in it (or at least that is what the packaging claims). It applies just like the Hourglass primer which is just dreamy, with that new added bonus of being a two-in-one. It is smooth and silky and the absorption is quick so on the first day I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed. I'm still incredibly happy with this one and it's at a much more affordable price of $34.
Grade: A

Sephora Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer
I will completely admit that after trying to the Amazing Cosmetics primer, I kind of didn't want to try any others. I was in love and that was all that mattered (in regard to a primer). I finally got over that (took about two weeks to get over it, to be honest) and started using a different primer again. The Sephora primer feels pretty good and is almost comparable to the Amazing Cosmetics and Hourglass primer but it was a bit more thicker in consistency. This wasn't a problem; it held up well and felt good. This one goes for $15 and I have to admit, I'd really consider it -- I think the only thing that puts Amazing Cosmetics in the lead is the fact that it doubles as a moisturizer.
Grade: B

BritePrep FX
I was kind of excited to try this one since I already have other CoverFX products. When I tried it on though, the first thing I noticed was that it was ridiculously greasy. Maybe I just got a bad one but my skin did not like it at all. It didn't absorb into my skin and just created an oil slick which meant I ended up using way too much powder to try to cover it up. The bright side I guess what that my makeup didn't look caked on even though I knew that it was. My assumption was that maybe it didn't react well to my moisturizer.
Original Grade: D

I tried this one again without a moisturizer and overall, I really like it. It is very moisturizing on it's own and definitely helps the makeup go on well and stay put. It is trully amazing how well it works together with mineral makeup. It made my skin look fantastic and this is definitely one to consider (but it does cost $45).
Updated Grade: A

Let's do a recap... A few days out of the weeks that I tried these primers, I'd throw in the use of Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer for comparison. I made sure that I kept the tubes around to mix them up over time (which is why this post took so long to create). The ones that I kept coming back to was the Amazing Cosmetics -- even if I forgot that it had a moisturizer in it, the primer was able to accommodate for the extra moisturizer and make the makeup look good.

The others were not so kind to that error -- the BritePrep FX looked hideous if I tried to add a moisturizer  but alone it looked fantastic. If I were to run out to Sephora right now, I'd definitely get either the Amazing Cosmetics or the BritePrep FX. Don't get me wrong, I think that Sephora's own primer along with Hourglass are good, but Hourglass comes with a hefty price tag and Sephora's own lacks the moisturizer.

Moisturizer is incredibly important because I have combination skin and the parts that get really oily and really dry need to be balanced out. So what is the final verdict?

Winner: Amazing Cosmetics Anti-Aging Face Primer
Reason: Lightweight moisturizer and primer that feels good and absorbs fast. It can handle the extra moisturizer if need be and allows for makeup to look amazingly flawless.

Runner-Up: BritePrep FX
Reason: Brightens the skin, great for "setting the canvas" -- but it naturally greasy on its own and while it absorbs semi quickly, don't think that you need a moisturizer with it. If you do put moisturizer on, it will not be kind to your error. It does help to brighten the skin and even out the skin tone.

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